"Preoccupation with the sitter's perception of your painting is not helpful during the act of creating. It's better to be focused on the feeling of the thing, the arrangement of shapes, the colors of pigment... the elements."
- Mickayel Thurin
My portraits capture my immediate family, close friends or myself as the subject... all of whom have been painted many times over, as I prefer to paint those I know well. Part of this is because after you know someone well and they know you, you lose some of the niceties. You are both your more authentic selves and that is when you can really get down to business.
Preoccupation with the sitter's perception of your painting is not helpful during the act of creating. It's better to be focused on the feeling of the thing, the arrangement of shapes, the colors of pigment... the elements. These paintings are my attempt at doing just that. If they end up capturing some of the sitter's essence or personality, it is because of our familiarity and closeness rather than an effort at flattery. In short, these portraits are about the creation process of each painting, not about the models.
This body of work consists mainly of acrylic paint on canvas. However, if a painting calls for it, I do not hesitate to utilize collage, watercolor, ink or other mixed media.
Mickayel Thurin is a Haitian American artist born in 1987 in Newport News, VA. Her family moved frequently so she grew up in NY, VA and MI. She eventually landed in Philadelphia, PA to attend the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) where she studied painting.
Thurin’s chief influences have consistently been expressive color, pattern and texture. She is interested in artists such as: Soutine, Bonnard, Alice Neel, Willem de Kooning, Mitzi Melnicoff, Lissy Funk and Jean-Michel Basquiat. The majority of her works tend to be colorful, expressive, abstracted portraiture done with mixed media. They often contain embroidery and collage.
At PAFA, Thurin studied under the likes of Jan Batzell, Bill Scott, Michael Gallagher and others. She also met her now-husband and fellow painter, Benjamin Passione, who also exhibits at Gross McCleaf. The two reside in Philadelphia where they share an art studio and their son, Maurice, who is often featured in Thurin’s paintings.
A.L. With Sweater (Detail)
12.5" x 8.5"
Mixed Media On Canvas